Canegrowers Bundaberg director Allan Dingle is happy with the way the year ended for the industry, and says things look bright for 20120.
Canegrowers Bundaberg director Allan Dingle is happy with the way the year ended for the industry, and says things look bright for 20120. MAX FLEET

Sweet future for growers

THE future is looking sweet for Bundaberg’s cane growers, who have seen off one good year and face the prospect of another.

Looking back over 2009, Canegrowers Bundaberg director Allan Dingle said the growing season started off well, but growers then had to endure an exceptionally dry winter.

“What we did see was fertiliser and fuel prices go down and sugar prices up to a 30-year high, and they may stay there because of shortfalls in other countries,” Mr Dingle said.

“The price could stay up there for two or three years.”

Mr Dingle said at the end of the season the tonnage crushed was down, but because of the dry weather the sugar content was higher than average.

Looking ahead to 2010, Mr Dingle said good rain across the district throughout the festive season would help the next crop.

“The crop should respond well to that, and prospects are looking good,” he said.

Mr Dingle said the industry needed more localised heavy rainfalls in the catchment areas to improve storage.

“This year is not looking good for surface water users if we don’t get some rain in the catchment areas,” he said.

In an overview of the industry, Canegrowers released a report last week that also predicted a positive future.

“Strong international prices, access to futures pricing to secure those higher returns and the potential for increased production have set an upbeat tone within the sugar cane growing sector,” the report said.

“Industry has emerged from a lengthy period of rationalisation and deregulation, leaner, meaner and well prepared to reap long overdue rewards of a stronger, more stable marketplace.”

Internationally, global sugar demand had continued to grow.

“The Brazilian industry, which is one of the main sources of meeting this extra demand, faltered as financial support for expansion dried up and heavy rains interrupted the harvest,” the report said.

“The other big hitter, India, continues to be in deficit and to draw down on international stocks.”

The cane industry has played a major role in developing and sustaining the economic wellbeing of many regional centres and of the state, according to the report.

“Recent downturns in the more ‘frisky’ tourism industry and the impact of a slowing in the extractive industries have brought new focus as to the importance of the ‘old stager’,” it said.

“The price could stay up there for two or three years.”



Dead end defence: Bundy court slams man's traffic excuse

Dead end defence: Bundy court slams man's traffic excuse

Magistrate says 'law of averages' excuse shows he's 'not getting it'

LITTLE LACIE: Girl's mystery illness finally diagnosed

LITTLE LACIE: Girl's mystery illness finally diagnosed

Fight for answers finally over, now treatment begins for Lacie

Big win for Bundy renters: Vacancy rate doubles

Big win for Bundy renters: Vacancy rate doubles

REIQ figures show jump in the three months to end of March

Local Partners